Othello news

Interview with Masaki Wada

11 July 2019
Written by Tad Maehata

This is an interview with Masaki Wada, a young Othelloplayer from Japan. Masaki Wada was the first Youth World Champion, Mito 2016. There he won the final against Arthur Juigner from Switzerland.
Tad Maehata did the interview 2019. 

WOF: How old are you? あなたは何歳ですか?

MW: I’m 15 years old. 15歳です。

WOF: When did you first encounter the game Othello? And do you have any episode when you encountered the Othello game? オセロに出会ったのは何歳ですか?そしてその出会いに何かエピソードがありますか?

MW: I was 9 years old then. I participated in the block qualifying for Japan youth championship because I was curious. I couldn’t pass the qualifying for the final tournament. 9歳の時です。最初は興味本位で小学生グランプリのブロック大会に出場しただけだったので、全国大会には進めず、その後練習して次の年に全国大会に出場できました。

WOF: Does your family also play Othello? 家族はオセロをプレーしますか?

MW: My Father and younger brother play Othello. 父と弟はオセロをプレイします。

WOF: Has Othello changed your life? オセロはあなたの生活(人生)を変えましたか?

MW: It has made my life more fun. Through playing Othello game, I’m starting to know a lot of people, and improve at conversation.  生活での楽しみが増えました。また、オセロを通じ、各地でたくさんの人と知り合うことができたので、また、色々な大会に出てみたいです。

WOF: What other hobbies do you have besides playing Othello? 他に何かオセロ以外の趣味はありますか?

MW: I play Soft Tennis as club activities. I like all board games. 部活動でソフトテニスをしています。ボードゲーム全般が好きです。

WOF: What are your plans going forward with othello? 貴方のオセロでの今後の予定は?
Do you have any dreams for your life in the future? また将来の夢は何かありますか?

MW: I want to leave a good result in the major tournament. And I want to be a World Champion someday.


Q7. Do you enjoy playing other games? オセロ以外の他のゲームも楽しんでいますか?

MW: I have interest in Shogi and Chess also. 将棋やチェスにも興味があります。


WOF: Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for people just getting started with Othello?

MW: Do practice again and again, so I believe you could be stronger surely. And at the game, you shouldn’t give it up till the end. 練習を重ねて努力をすれば必ず強くなれると思います。対局の際は最後まであきらめないことだと思います。


Q9. Do you have any Othello openings you prefer over others? オセロゲーム前半で好きな定石や展開はありますか?

MW: I like kind of putting disk vertical in standard moves. 縦取りが好きです。


WOF: Do you have any Othello openings you try to avoid? ゲーム前半で苦手な定石や展開はありますか?

MW: There are no standard moves I dislike especially. I usually try not to proceed moving to where I never studied standard moves. 特にこれといった苦手な定石はありませんが、あまり研究していない展開にはしないようにしています。


WOF: Do you have a favorite color (in Othello)? オセロの石の色は、どちらが好きですか?

MW: I like white discs. 白が好きです。


WOF: Do you have any tips on how to best prepare for Othello tournaments? 大会に向けての準備でいいアドバイスがありますか?

MW: I think it’s good to pray to the Gods. For Example, you can go to pray if there are any shrines not so far from tournament venue. 個人的にはゲン担ぎをしたりするのもいいと思います。大会会場のそばに神社があったら参拝するとか。


WOF: Do you have any tips or tricks regarding staying focused during a tournament? 大会中に集中力を保つためのヒントかコツは何かありますか?

MW: In terms of tournament, I try to think what it is not related with Othello as much as possible. 
During the tournament, I try not to think what it is unrelated with Othello as much as possible. 

WOF: Do you, or would you like to, play tournaments with other rules and/or board formats? 

MW: I have never played Happy Othello, 8 stars, Othellonia. I would like to try these games again though I have less time to play. ハッピーオセロ、エイトスターズ、オセロニアはやったことがあります。あまりプレイする機会がないのでまたやってみたいです。


WOF: Whats your most memorable moment in Othello? オセロでの一番の思い出は何ですか?

MW: It is that I got Youth Champion in WOC in Mito Japan. 水戸の世界大会でユースの部で優勝したことです。


WOF: Are there any other Othello players that you look up to?
Are there any other people that have been especially inspiring in your life? 
How have you been inspired with these othello persons?

MW: It’s Yusuke Takanashi as 9 dan. I want to be a player like Takanashi 9 dan, since he has been a representative player of Japan every year and also been strong every time.  


WOF: Are there any persons except othello players who have been inspiring in your life? How have they inspired you ? オセロ関連の人以外で刺激を受けた人がいますか?どう影響されましたか?

MW: There is no person who I have been quite big inspired yet. Although I may eventually see some persons inspiring me deeply in my school life or/and other situations from now on.